U.S. Calls on Iran, Saudis to Reduce Tensions

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -

The U.S. State Department is calling on the Iranian government to protect the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and on both Saudi Arabia and Iran to avoid escalating regional Sunni-Shiite tensions.

Demonstrators in Tehran broke into the Saudi Embassy early Sunday morning to protest the execution of prominent Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters Sunday that the U.S. supports the right to peaceful protest, but “we condemn in the strongest terms any attacks on diplomatic properties.”

Trudeau called on both Iran and Saudi Arabia refrain from “any actions that could further heighten tensions.”